On Thursday, Oct. 10 (also by early voting at Town Hall beginning on Sept. 20), voters will weigh in on the third and final phase of Vision 2020, a years-long school facilities plan for ensuring that our students and teachers are set up for success in safe, dry, warm, healthy, and modern lea…

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A lot of you may already be on the waiting list for popular books including “Testament,” Margaret Atwood’s follow up to “The Handmaid’s Tale,” and “Where the Crawdads Sing,” by Delia Owens (that book has had a huge waiting list since 2018!). No need to worry, there are plenty of new books to…

When I was a kid and went to the movies, they weren’t as sophisticated as they are now. There was no digitized anything, no Pixar, few special effects. What a pity they had to rely on just well-written scripts, sharp direction, and actors who could act.

I got up this morning and turned on the television. I thought about going to the YMCA. Before I could get ready, I got caught up in a TV program. The music was good. People were dancing. All the participants were smiling. They were having fun. I decided to join in right in and I started danc…

Have you ever wondered about your family tree but weren’t sure how to begin your research? Or perhaps you are one of the committed (or is it addicted?) genealogists who dedicate all of your spare time to looking up birth and death dates and combing through archives in the never-ending quest …

She looked at me with those big, beautiful, brown eyes. She was shaking and rubbing against me. It was as if she was asking, “Why are you doing this? You really aren’t going to leave me here? Don’t you love me?” I wanted to cry. I had little choice. We were going on vacation and needed someo…

Typically I don’t read or listen to books about how to be more efficient and ways to achieve all you want in life. It’s not that I don’t think I could benefit from it, but I suppose I’m still in the denial stage. The fact of the matter is that I have time to be productive at home, but my cou…

Ralph James was my idol my freshman year at Syracuse University. He came to my dorm every night, even during the throes of the infamous Central New York winter weather. No snow was too deep, no winds too blustery to keep him away. I never knew exactly when it was he’d show up, but I didn’t h…

It’s time for the senior center picnic. George Routhier will be preparing hot dogs, hamburgers, salads, and other picnic foods at the annual summer picnic on Saturday, Sept. 14 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the center mealsite area. Ants are not invited as the event will be held indoors. Picnick…

By the time I got there, the street had been blocked off and fire trucks were everywhere. There was a building on fire with several fire departments there and more on the way. Fortunately, the damage was minimal and no one was hurt. You could see the smoke billowing out of a hole that had be…

If government cannot care for the most vulnerable children among us, it has little business doing much else. That’s why we are genuinely relieved to learn of the sudden addition of 23 child welfare staff to Rhode Island’s Department of Children, Youth and Families (DCYF). It is a long overdu…

You may know that Westerly Library is part of a consortium, Ocean State Libraries (OSL). What that means is that we all share some resources — the OSL consortium is what allows Westerly patrons to order books and other items from any Rhode Island library and have them delivered within a few …

The Veterans of Foreign Wars of the U.S. has announced that its Sport Clips Help A Hero Scholarship program has raised nearly $762,000 for awards this fall to 165 student veterans attending colleges across the country.

I was a drama major in college when I first became familiar with a Japanese play called “Rashomon,” written by Akira Kurosawa. It had a thought-provoking, curious message offering that any important incident or event is given different interpretations or descriptions, depending upon the indi…

I saw him and wondered what he was doing. He was following the camera man. While most people were watching the band, my eyes caught this little drama in front of the stage. The man with the camera kept crossing back and forth while capturing images that were projected on the the screens abov…

Did you know that we have a film club at Westerly Library? It works like a book club, but instead of books, we borrow DVDs from the library system (or, of course, you can watch them on Netflix, Amazon Prime, etc.) Each month we will choose three films, and watch them on our own at home for d…

We were packing the cars to leave. All of a sudden a little dog came strutting out from behind the building. He came up to us. He started sniffing around, barked a couple of times, and then wandered off. I immediately looked around to see if I could find his owner. I didn’t see anyone. I sta…

The Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission, or ASMFC, has determined (again!) that the number of spawning Atlantic striped bass is below the required threshold to maintain proper “recruitment” (newborns), and therefore, sustainable population abundance. The logical conclusion is to rest…

I am getting ready for a vacation in a couple of weeks, so I’m looking for books to take. My calculation works like this — for a week off, I estimate I will read about four books (probably less now that I have kids!) and I need backups for those books in case I start one and it just doesn’t …

It’s a Saturday morning and my wife and I are out doing our usual run of errands. We’re checking out of one of the better known big box stores when suddenly everyone hears a gentleman yelling at the top of his lungs, “Call 911!, Call 911!”  This certainly caught my attention and I immediatel…

My daughter, Sarah, bought her first new car last year. She had survived her high school, college and graduate studies by driving around in “hand-me-down” vehicles. They went from Norwich to UConn to Iowa State and back many times. Her last car was our 2005 Toyota Corolla with over 250,000 m…

A friend recently alerted me to an article that made the claim “2019 will be the year of the vegan.” Well, we’re about halfway through and I believe that veganism is certainly having a moment. There are many motivating factors for adopting a diet with less meat, including compassion for anim…

Attorney Marc Page writes a fine column on these pages once a month, and most recently dealt with how to reduce the number of nuisance telemarketing calls. His suggestions were intelligent, well thought out, and made good common sense. I don’t know Marc personally, but from what I glean from…

While we enjoy everything that a nice hot, sunny day affords us, we must also keep in mind the potential dangers of extended exposure to soaring temperatures. Residents want to know how to prepare for and protect themselves and their families from the hot summer sun. 

The car was a mess. I didn’t notice it so much as we were driving. It only hit me when we stopped after five days on the road. The front of the car was covered with dead insects. I should have known. The day before I thought it was raining. The splat, splat, splat on the windshield was comin…

If you’re on Facebook, you have probably seen a post that has been making the rounds. People are being asked to list 10 books that have stayed with them. They don’t necessarily have to be great books, but books that were remembered long after they were read. I was nominated to do this by a g…

I was a child of TV. From the time I was about 4 and we got our first television, I think it was a Dumont — an enormous piece of furniture with doors on it and a tiny, tiny screen — I was hooked. Each time my father or mother clicked it on, my impatience quickly rose to the fore waiting for …

Peggy Haake, national president of the Veterans of Foreign Wars Auxiliary, will make an official visit to Rhode Island from Aug. 9 to 11. She will tour the new Rhode Island Veterans Home in Bristol, the historic Westerly Armory, and attend receptions hosted by several of the state’s VFW Auxi…

It was the hottest day of the year. Everyone was trying to figure out a way to beat the heat. Even at church we had a contingency plan. For the first time in our 73-year history we installed two air conditioners in the sanctuary windows. Factor in the ceiling fans, and add a few oscillating …

Coming up, on the first Saturday in August, is the Stonington Village Fair, the annual fete on leafy Wadawanuck Square in Stonington Borough, to the delight of children, book-lovers, village folk, local residents, summer tourists and more than a few four-legged enthusiasts on leashes.

Okay, let’s get this out of the way right off. I don’t like summer. Matter of fact I hate summer. I’ve hated summer since I was a kid, and although I’ve become more tolerant of the heat as I’ve gotten older, I still have no love lost for the season.

Have you ever felt helpless and wondered what you could do to change a situation? I have. I’ll never forget a phone call I received about sixth months into my ministry. It began with the ominous statement, “Cal, I have some difficult news to share with you.” From there, things went downhill.…

We got to the airport way before the airline was ready to check our bags, we waited in line, finally boarded the plane, slept for maybe an hour and a half, then landed in the Açores around 6 a.m. At this time, of course, the hotel was not ready to let us in our room, thus in our zombified st…

A real highlight of summer for me is sitting on my front porch watching the world go by. It truly is one of my favorite pastimes, and believe me, I consider sitting with a cup of coffee my main hobby! Usually I’ll put on some music or listen to a podcast but every now and then I get motivate…

Since the Johns Hopkins report came out about our educational system and specifically Providence, we can no longer neglect our schools! We must face the facts. Our school system is broken. We need to fix it now before it becomes even more damaged.

I saw the eyes before I noticed anything else. Agnes and Gary knew I was a big fan of Pixar’s Toy Story. So when I went into my office I recognized it right away. Sitting there, and staring back at me, was a hat with the face of one of the three-eyed, green alien toys from the third movie in…

It saddens me to see the ‘chicken little’ attitude of the MFD about the Misquamicut bike path. My wife and I retired here from New Haven three years ago and though we are not avid cyclists, we do ride several times a week. This plan for a bike path is imperfect, but is much better than what …

Mitch Albom is an excellent writer. A sportswriter by profession, he shot to instant fame with the memorable book, “Tuesdays with Morrie,” a bittersweet tale of Albom’s relationship with a favored college professor dying of cancer.